AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Ethics Commission has levied fines against Gov. Paul LePage for missing two campaign finance deadlines in the past week.
The penalties, totaling $210, are preliminary, and LePage has the opportunity to request a waiver.
Between May 28 and June 9, Maine law required candidates for elective office to file reports of any contribution over $1,000 within 24 hours of receiving the money. LePage’s gubernatorial campaign filed two late reports. Neither of his opponents — Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler — missed any deadlines.
Brent Littlefield, the governor’s chief political consultant, said the campaign missed the deadline because staffers held the contribution checks for Treasurer William Logan to bring to the bank.
“They were not aware, with the governor facing no primary opponent, that 24-hour reports were due for the primary,” Littlefield said in an email. “When the treasurer picked up the checks for deposit and noted the received date, he immediately notified ethics and self-reported the issue.”
The first report, due June 2, was filed three days late. It included contributions from three individuals and one business. In total, they were worth $4,700.
The second, due June 6, was filed two days late, and detailed a contribution of $1,150 from a political action committee controlled by Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden.
Candidates who file late and are charged a fine may request a waiver in the event of an emergency, an error by commission staff, failure to receive notice of the filing deadline or evidence that a legitimate effort was made to file the report on time.
LePage’s campaign has 30 days to pay the penalty or request a waiver, which would be reviewed by the Maine Ethics Commission. Littlefield said that where the fine is relatively small, the campaign had not yet discussed whether to seek a waiver.
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